She's too pretty : how model attractiveness and social comparison impact consumer self-esteem and purchase intention
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The current research was performed to determine the relationships between model attractiveness, social comparison, consumer self-esteem, and consumer purchase intention among females age 35 to 44. The author hopes that such research will provide advertisers with a better understanding of the complex relationships between factors leading up to the purchase of a product. In the present experiment, 233 female participants age 35 to 44 were presented with advertisements featuring lowly- or highly-attractive models (based on pretest data) after being given a predetermined social comparison treatment. Participants' self-esteem and purchase intention were also measured. Results showed that high model attractiveness lowers consumer self-esteem and increases purchase intention. Social comparison has a moderate effect on self-esteem and purchase intention; positive relationships occur in both scenarios. Additionally, higher consumer self-esteem tends to produce lower purchase intention for cosmetics while lower self-esteem tends to produce higher purchase intention. Implications for advertisers as well as consumers are discussed.
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